Saturday, December 27, 2014

Say hi to Judy…..

I bet you thought you wouldn't see another thing sewn by me this year, huh?  Well, fooled you!  Thanks to a marvelous daughter who kept at me for months and practically begged me to get off my reading kick and "make" her mother as a Christmas gift from her, or Lady #72 - or "JUDY" as she is better known, would never have been created.  I must say, she turned out wonderfully and I think really looks like the real Judy.  See for yourselves:

And Judy in the flesh:

So, there you have it!!  My original goal was to make 100 ladies, so if any of you are interested in seeing yourself in fabric, please contact me at the address on my sidebar and I'll give you the scoop on how to become one.  I promise, you will be smiling!

Of course, I couldn't forget my girlies this week and sent them books in the envelopes below:

And then, I even had time to read two books:

THE LADIES ROOM                        by                   Carolyn Brown
DECEIVED                                      by                   Irene Hannon

I enjoyed both immensely!  The first one was sort of funny and the last was a mystery.  I really like mixing up types of books in a week.  I can keep them straight that way too.  lol

So, that's it!  I'm in process of de-Christmasing my house and anxious to get everything packed away and back in order again..let the NEW YEAR begin!!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The countdown is on…..

Yikes!  Can you believe that by this time next week all the festivities will be over?  Seems incredible that for all the hoopla, it goes by so quickly.  Tomorrow we will be celebrating Christmas with my extended family.  There will be 14 of us here for appetizers, drinks, fun and surprises.  This tradition has been going on for years.  We have Thanksgiving at my sisters and Christmas is at our house with our kids, grandkids, and spouses.  I love being with my sister and everyone!!  Family is so important!  I am down to the wire as far as preparations……Toby needs a grooming and then it's only last minute stuff.  Yeah!!  I wish you all the best of fun times with your celebrations too!!

Just because it's Christmas, the envelopes don't stop.  In fact, I try to find some holiday themed story books to send, if I can.  This year, both my sweeties are engrossed in the "Mr. Putter and Tabby" series and I MUST admit that I love them too!  Cynthia Rylant has been my favorite children's author forever, so I'm happy to supply her work to my honeys for their collections.  If you need some touching, funny, and "clean" books for any 4-8 year olds on your list, I suggest that you check them out!  Here are the envelopes for this week:

I read a few books too this week:

THE BOSTON GIRL                          by                    Anita Diamant
ANGELS IN THE FIRE (true story)     by                    Dann Stadler
FIVE DAYS LEFT (debut)                  by                    Julie Lawson Timmer

All were good (not great), but Angels in the Fire was the best.  The author lives about 20 minutes from me and I saw his picture and book posted by my hairdresser on Facebook, so I had to buy it!  It's an amazing true story of horror and endurance and faith.  Perfect for this time of year!

So, that's it, my friends.  I hope you have a blessed holiday with fun, peace, and good health!  Merry Christmas to all of you!!!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

I finished my craft project…..wait til you see it!

A few weeks ago, a blogger who I follow (and who is on my sidebar…..Lindsay Ostrom) showed some awesome plates that a friend of hers made and that she was going to copy.  Apparently, these have been on Pinterest many times (and I'm a goof for never seeing them!)  Since my sister is the baker in the family, and gives muffins, cookies, etc. to everyone she knows for whatever reason, I thought they would be a perfect gift for her for Christmas.  Anyway, I read about the process Linsay was going to use and checked out the internet as to various other methods and decided to go the best route, so ordered these pens from Amazon.  Since I was going to write on porcelain, they were reported to do the job the best!

Only one problem…..when I tried them out on paper (thank God), the fine tipped one, blobbed ink out all over!  Needless to say, I wasn't happy!  I took a quick trip to Hobby Lobby and Michaels, but neither had the same pens.  Thankfully, I read online that I could also use plain, ordinary Sharpies, but more care had to be taken to assure a good finished product.  Being the drawer of envelopes…..I had a bunch of Sharpies in all sorts of colors, so I went to town.

This was #3 (although the first 2 aren't bad), when I decided to get fancy and also use colored markers in addition to the black.  After finishing, I was to let it sit for 24 hours to make sure it was completely dry, then put in a cold oven, set the temp to 425 degrees, and bake it for 30 minutes, turn off the oven and let it cool down completely in the oven before taking it out.  Cool!

So when I took it out, the plate looked like this:

WHAT??……the red hearts turned yellow??  Actually, sort of yellow/brownish!  Yuck!  I was bummed!  Back to Target for more plates!  I wondered what would happen with bright pink….so I tried that.  Here it is before the baking process.  Note too that the writing with the finer Sharpie sets up lighter after baking.

Yeah…success!  Don't worry about the lines that you see on the next (baked plate) picture…..I took the photo in my dining room at night and the chandelier shadowed the plate…..BUT, check out the colors! The pink stayed pink!  Hurray!

So, that project is done and now my sister will have 5 Giving Plates the next time she "gifts" someone with yummies!  I didn't check out the dishwasher worthiness though, so if they fade, so be it!  I KNOW they are hand washable!

Then, per usual, I sent out a few envelopes with books to my sweeties!

And, I read one and 3/4 books this week.  Hopefully today, I will finish the last 1/4…..and it's good!

THE LOOK OF LOVE                      by                Sarah Jio
A PRISONER OF BIRTH                 by                Jeffrey Archer

So, there you have it!  Pretty much my week in a nutshell.  Always so much to do this time of year!  I hope you all are settling down to a routine.  Make time for yourself too!  It's important!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

I'm doing a bit better this week!! Yeah for me!

Nothing like making lists to get you motivated, huh?  That's my plan!  I even have one made for most of next week already (including meals for the week)… do you like that???  Now, if I can stick to it, that'll be another story!!  It's amazing how friends invitations for lunch can screw up a whole day…..but what a fun diversion and at this time of year, fun is what you need!!!!!!  At least, it's what I need.  The older I get, the more I dread this time of year.  Too much work and too much drama….and that's all I'm saying!  I'm sure you all have your "issues" too.

I did send off envelopes with books this week, as usual.  Funny how when I pulled envelopes for each girl, they were both polar bears.  I have stacks of envelopes already finished with books enclosed, completely addressed, and stamped so that all I have to do is grab on Wednesdays and Saturdays when I send them off… this was strange.  Cool though!  And then, I did make two identical (the last one) for a pre-Christmas treat!  Last year it seemed that I made more Christmas envelopes…..but since I already have so many others, I thought two would be sufficient for this year.  You'll see the other one, next week.

I bought a few more books from Amazon……3 of them are children's books geared to the 8-12 old range.  Who knows why I was drawn to them since neither of my little ones are that age yet, but I read the reviews and didn't want to forget them, so bought them right away.  In fact, I already read two of them.  Duh!  (With so few pages I felt as though I accomplished something….so that's why.)

And here are the books I read this week:

THE PEPINS AND THEIR PROBLEMS (kids)        by          Marilyn Hafner
LIFE CODE                                                         by          Dr. Phil McGraw
A TANGLE OF KNOTS (kids)                               by          Lisa Graff
THE 13TH GIFT (a true story)                               by          Joanne Huist Smith

My favorite was the last one.  A touching real life story that I will long remember!  I highly recommend it!  And, I just started "The Look of Love", by Sarah Jio (one of my favorite authors this year), so I'll let you know how it was next week.

So, that's the news.  I have been procrastinating long enough…….time to clean my house!  Have a great day, my friends and enjoy a book!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Just call me, slacker!

I dunno, it seems like I was busy all week, but when I want to list stuff, nothing comes to mind!  I do have all my Christmas cookies made and frozen, my house decorated, almost all the shopping done and wrapped, cards written, stamped and addressed so I'm pretty well set!  I do have a craft project to go yet and I'm so worried that I'll screw it up that I have been putting it off.  (For sure you will see it here though once I finish it!!)

I did send off a few books in the envelopes below.  My little girlies love to get mail!

Didn't read one book!  (The 2nd week of no reading…..shame on me!!)  With over 50 on my to-read book list, I better get going!  Thankfully though, I have only ordered one book from Amazon lately.

If you really want something cool to see, check out my sideboard and go to the FREEZEFRAME blog listed there.  Annie made some adorable and oh-so creative gift tags!  That girl just flips me out for the stuff she has been making lately!  YOU will love it too!  Go now………..

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving……early!

It's rainy and gloomy and cold here this morning and although I really haven't done much of anything so far today, I feel a nap coming on.  Perhaps it's the weather……..OR, maybe it's the bare Christmas tree in my living center just awaiting its decorations.  Every year it seems like more and more work just getting ready.  Just call me Scrooge!  Bah-humbug! Hubby went to a car show with a friend today and I imagine he'll expect that everything will be all glittery and pretty when he returns.  I guess he'll be surprised, huh?  Darling hubs puts the three tree sections together, makes sure the lights work and thinks his decorating is done.  Must be nice!  After 42 years of tree decorating, I'm getting a bit sick of doing it all alone.  (Although, I must admit that I do love "the look" once I'm done.)

Only sent out a few envelopes this week.  My one little one was still on vacation. 

I did finish my Christmas cookie baking!  All double batches of 10 different kinds are in the basement freezer.  This was the last bunch.  Yeah! Cross one thing off the list!

I didn't even finish one book this week.  Bad me!  I started David Balducci's latest novel, "The Escape", but I'm really not far enough yet to know if will be good or bad.  At 25 pages, you can't tell too much!  lol

Hopefully, next week will be more productive!  I know it will be more fun!  I love Thanksgiving…..probably because my sister hosts it.  lol  I only bring 3 pies.  Hope yours is good too!  Many blessings to you and your families!  Be well!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Feeling the holiday rush…..already!

We had a measurable snowfall last night and Toby was investigating it this morning.  Hard to smell other critters walking around his space with all that white stuff, you know.

Not very many envelopes.  One of my sweeties is in Disneyworld, on vacation this week…..AND, dummy me forget to take a picture of another envelope that was sent.  Oh well!

And then, a week or so ago, I got these from Amazon.  Most of them have been read already:

In fact, these are the ones I read this week.  Both were really good!

THE MIDNIGHT PLAN OF THE REPO MAN     by     W. Bruce Cameron
MY SISTER'S GRAVE                                    by      Robert Dugoni

And then, I started making my Christmas cookies.  I always freeze them anyway, so I thought I'd get a head start:

What you been doing with yourself?  Staying busy?  If you're like me, the next 6-7 weeks will fly by and soon we'll be looking at 2015.  Wow!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Remember the "ladies"?

Do you remember these beauties?  Let me introduce you again.  Please meet, Noel from Spain, Mari from Norway, Bonnie, Lynda, Natalie, Deanna, Robynn, and Pat from the US, Sue from Australia, Bianna from the Netherlands, and Sue from New Zealand……or to shorten it, ladies #55 through #65 from last year.

And why, you ask am I showing you these ladies again???  Well, hip-horray, you'll never guess what I did this week……………that's right………I got out the sewing stuff and created Lady #72.  Unfortunately, she is a Christmas gift for a very special mom so I can't show her to you yet……but, I just thought I'd tell you that I'm back at it for any of you who wanted yourself, or a special person in your life in fabric yet this year.  I'm thinking I could still do 4-5 before the holidays if we hurry.  E-mail me (address on my sidebar) and I'll send you the details.

Of course, I sent out envelopes this week too.  My little ones just love getting mail!

And, of course, I read a few books.

WHEN MYSTICAL CREATURES ATTACK     by      Kathleen Founds
EYE OF THE BEHOLDER                             by      David Ellis
THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN              by      Garth Stein

The first one was a book of short stories…..actually, I thought it was weird cause it was a jumble of strange stories and didn't hold my interest at all.  The 2nd one was a thriller and I love that author anyway so it went really fast for me, and the third one was very touching and a classic in itself.  I'd recommend it in an instant.

So, that was my week.  Hopefully, the next one will be as productive!  It's getting cold here and we're supposed to have measurable snow on Tuesday, so you KNOW I'll be in the house doing something!  Take care, my friends and be well!

Friday, October 31, 2014

What a difference in 4 days!

E-gads!  Waaaaayyyyy too early for me, thank you!  Look at what we woke up to this morning:

And just a few days ago, that same scene looked like this (which I personally liked a whole lot better!)

 I must admit, it's a bit too early for snow (even here in Wisconsin).  I live in the southeastern portion of the state.  Who knows if the northern part gets snow earlier???  For sure, I'm not ready for it yet!

The books sent in these envelopes this week.  (My girls really like Halloween!)

Then……do you remember only a few weeks ago when I pulled in all the produce I still had growing outside?  One of you told me to wrap those green tomatoes in newspaper and store them in a cool place.  I THOUGHT you told me I'd have ripe tomatoes by Christmas?  

Too bad they all ripened a bit early.  I thought I was done with BLTs for a few months, but guess not!  There are still 4-5 in the basement not as ripe.  I told DH to unwrap them for now.  lol

Not too prolific in reading this week.  Who knows what I was doing instead.  I only read one book:

THE GARDEN OF LETTERS                  by             Alyson Richman

Thankfully, it was a good one and only 356 pages long.  I'll try to do better next week.  For some reason, I seem to be slowing down.  Maybe I need a mystery or two??

Hope you are all well and sassy and having fun in whatever you're doing……after all, life is short and we need to enjoy every minute.  Too bad I need to get back to cleaning my floors as soon as I'm done here…….ugh!  Oh well…..can't have everything, I guess!  Be well, my friends!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

The sun is coming out...

It looks like it will be a beautiful fall day here today, and I'm all for that!  Temps are supposed to be unusually warm (high 60's low 70's) for the next three days and I'm all for that too!  Lately, we've been having hard frosts every morning and everything is all white when I wake up.  Ugh!  Winter is coming!  I can't believe that there are only 6 more days to October.  Seems like I was just starting to send out Halloween envelopes to my girlies and now I only have two more to send out next week to finish up.

Here are the ones I sent this week.  Many times I do duplicates for each one so that they both get identical books and envelopes the same day.  (I can't think of too many at one time, you know.  lol)

Then, naturally, I read a few books……….and NO, for all you wonderers out there……the sewing machine is still not out yet, although I have been thinking about it.  One of these days I have to decide what I'm going to do because now it's bothering me that I have bins stacked full of fabric all over our bedroom.  I'm feeling like a hoarder……eikes!

Anyway, these are the books I read this week and believe it or not, they were all from the library.

THE SILENT SISTER                     by                       Diane Chamberlain
BONES NEVER LIE                       by                       Kathy Reich
FORGET ME                                 by                        KA Harrington

They were all really good, but the first two were the best.  For some reason, I read faster when I'm reading mysteries.  I guess I'm anxious to see what happens, huh?

So, that's it!  Hubby has been busy all week replacing all the lightbulbs in our house with LED bulbs.  Seems a friend told him how much he saves on his electric bill so my honey decided we needed to do it too.  Too bad he spent close to $400 on bulbs and that was with a buy two, get one free deal.  Can you believe it?  I almost flipped when he told me!!   If I did something that stupid, I'd get shot!!  Seriously!    Now my question is this…..what year, do you think, will we ever break even????  I hate to wonder!

Have a good week my friends!  And keep tabs on your husbands… just never know what crazy ideas they get!!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Rain, rain go away!

I suppose I shouldn't complain about all the rain we've been getting lately……….it could be snow!  UGH!!!  And soon, it will be.  Oh, and how I hate winter!  'Course this rain for the past 5 days is no fun either!  Poor Toby needs grooming so badly, but I'll be darned if I get him all pretty like just to go out and get soaked.  Hopefully tomorrow it will clear up!

Not much new this week.  Naturally, I sent out a few envelopes:

And, of course, I read a few books.  I finally finished the one I started last week titled, "House Broken" by Sonja Yoerg and I also finished, "The Forgers" by Bradford Morrow.  The last one was really strange and I felt like I was sitting in a pub in London with fog all around me while I was reading……really weird!!  The writing was like I never read before and I really don't know how to describe it.  It was sort of like someone telling a story instead of the characters living it.  Crazy!

As you know, I haven't been burning up the pages much lately like I was earlier in the year.  I guess that's because I haven't read anything really good……..and how I need something like that now!!!  I think I told you last week that I bought two books the week before:   

I should start "The Garden of Letters" by Alyson Richman because she also wrote, "The Lost Wife" which was one of my all time favorites, but it'll have to wait until my current book is over that I just got  from the library yesterday, "The Silent Sister" by Diane Chamberlain.  I'm expecting good things from this book considering that I've read stuff by Diane before that I liked a lot.

So, there you have it.  My week in a nutshell.  Today is also Sweetest Day……..yippee!  Like I really celebrate that crazy stuff anymore???  Ah…not so much!  Watch, just because I said that, hubs might come home from errands with a flower or two.  Now, wouldn't that be nice????  I'll let you know……..have a happy week, my friends!!